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Wrestling / Sgt. Slaughter

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"'re goin' nowhere space-case, you're here ´cause you´re AN INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH FOUL UP!!! My job is to whip you into shape, and I mean WHIP!!!"

"That man has the constitution of a vending machine!"
Cobra Commander

Robert Rudolph Remus (born August 27, 1948), better known by his ring name Sgt. Slaughter, is an American former WWE personality and semi-retired professional wrestler. From mid The '70s to early The '90s, Slaughter had success in the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association, and World Wrestling Federation.

Contrary to popular belief, his character was one of the very few that was not a creation of Verne Gagne or Vince McMahon. When he arrived to WWF in 1980, they needed a great heel to give a good push. Quickly becoming the first contender, he created his famous "Cobra Clutch Challenge" offering a prize of $ 5,000 to anyone who could break it. It was not until his second return to the brand in 1983 that he really took off after soundly defeating the then top heel The Iron Sheik. However, Hulk Hogan was already the World Heavyweight Champion... so when he left to look for greener pastures, The Large Sarge turned into one of the top faces in business history until his third return in 1990.

In 1986, an alternate version of the Sgt. Slaughter character was incorporated into the GI Joe: A Real American Hero toy line as well as its animated series and comic books.

Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former x3 NWA Central States Heavyweight Champion, a former NWA (Mid-Atlantic version) World Tag Team Champion (w/Don Kernodle), a former 2x NWA (Mid-Atlantic) United States Heavyweight Champion, a former NWA Canadian (Toronto) Heavyweight Champion, a former AWA America's Heavyweight Champion (One of its only two recipients) and former WWF World Heavyweight Champion. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2019.

"TEN-HUUUUUT!!! Read my tropes... you MAGGOTS!!!":

  • Ace Custom/Thememobile: He actually had two on G.I. Joe, the "Triple T Tank" and the "Slaughter's Warthog".
    • WWF also provided a limousine with a camouflage paint job when putting in special appearances.
  • Acrofatic: For a man of his frame, it was quite a show to watch him perform sunset flips, turnbuckle evations and missile top-rope big boots.
  • Alliterative Name: Both his stage name and real name.
  • All-American Face: He first debuted in WWF using his old Drill Sergeant Nasty gimmick, but as a (kayfabe) leatherneck he was in a good position to stand up for the US of A against Iron Sheik and turn face.
  • Always Second Best: The second most fondly remembered face in WWF/E history. Number one was more famed for having "24 inch pythons for arms, brother!".
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Artistic License – Military: He was the leader of the Triangle of Terror, despite being the lowest-ranked member.
  • Big Bad: He was the Top Heel in NWA Mid-Atlantic from 1981 to 1983.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Besides every instance he did so in G.I. Joe, a Real Life example occurred when a crazed fan stabbed "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. It was Slaughter who swiftly made the save and took his partner to the hospital.
  • Blood Knight: Practically his job description in a nut as a heel. It wasn't a rare occurence to watch him wearing a full-time red mask.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: What he was known for.
  • Burning the Flag: The unthinkable was definitely just that during Slaughter's face runs, as anyone who even so much as verbally insulted the American flag was in for a major beating. That said, this was considered - briefly - by the WWF's writing team during Slaughter's heel run, as an effort to build tremendous heel heat for his Iraqi sympathizer persona, during his stint as the WWF World Heavyweight Champion while America was engaged in the Persian Gulf War with Iraq. Fortunately, he nixed the idea deciding that doing so in an arena, even during a house show, would have very negative (to put it mildly) consequences for both him and WWF; it was bad enough that (off-camera) Slaughternote  was said to have "defaced the American flag." After some convincing by him and a few others, the writing team decided that burning a Hogan's T-shirt attached to a flagpole would draw the desired heat and make its point: America was weak and everything they stand for note would have no chance against his "Triangle of Terror" at WrestleMania VII.
  • Catchphrase: "...AND THAT'S AN ORDER!". Worked as this and as bottom line for his bold promos.
  • Celebrity Toons: Not only was he made into a G.I. Joe characternote , he voiced all his cartoon appearances.
    • He recived a full Power Makeover in the cartoon, action figures and comics, including an insanely muscular body and a head full of hair.
    • Moreover, he was the toy franchise's facenote  from mid-'86 to early '91.
  • The Chew Toy: From mid-oughties to this date, every time you see him wearing his fatigues and walking down the aisle, he is heading to a 6 minutes-or-less beat-up in order to put over some new talent (Your heel of the week, more often than not).
    • Averted when he's helping out another brand's legend like himself.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He didn't commit the mistake made by many others before him of trying to over-power or cheat on André the Giant, he just went right up to deliver a beating for the ages onto The Big Guy. Sarge lost, true... but he was one of the first wrestlers (heel or face) to give "The 8th Wonder of the World" a run for his money.
  • Cool Shades: ...and when they come off, his opponent will have only two ways outta the match, ON HIS FEET LIKE A MAN, OR IN A DITTY BAG... AN ITTY, BITTY, DITTY BAG!!!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: As "Comissioner Slaughter". Signed nowadays as a WWE executive in their real life Ambassador Program, where he's... well, the other kind of executive.
  • Death from Above: "The Slaughter Cannon", his top rope lariat.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: This was his driving force to challenge and eventually beat The Ultimate Warrior, earning him the World Heavyweight Championship in the process note .
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • His original heel gimmick.
    • Applies to his G.I. Joe counterpart as well, as he was brought on board for the express purpose of keeping the Joes in fighting shape, although his cartoon version also stood up for his charges when required.
  • Eagleland: The incarnation of this trope turned into a gimmick, either as face (Flavor 1) or heel (Flavor 2).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Once he made up his mind to become a wrestler, he got his very fist gimmick from his wife (beautician by trade) who bleached his hair and he debuted in december of 1973 as "Beautiful" Bobby Remus (Yet another "Superstar" Billy Graham Expy), a flamboyant and tidy character wearing tie-dye clothing.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He wanted to beat the daylights out of the New Age Outlaws when they threw a dumpster that had Terry Funk and Mick Foley inside off the stage. Keep in mind, he's one of VKM's top henchmen and they were shocked on what happened.
    • While Sgt. Slaughter played an Iraqi sympathizer (during the The Gulf War no less...), along came the "Burning flag" incident. Reportedly, he only agreed to go along with the gimmick because the character was written in a way that he supported Iraq only because they were stronger than America, who had turned "soft."
  • Finishing Move:
    • The Cobra Clutch.
    • During his Iraqi heel run, he also used the Camel Clutch.
    • and...a move often referred to as the "Atomic Noogie", a modified Tongan Death Grip.
  • General Ripper: Slaughter couldn't accept that the Cold War ended peacefully and thought it was an evil trick by the USSR. He was infuriated that the United States fans would accept Nikolai Volkoff's face turn. He ended up turning heel over it.
  • Heel Realization: Defeated by Hogan, the Large Sarge realized how much of a traitor he was and after a deep and hard soul search he started to claim "I want my country back!".
  • I Have Many Names: The Super Destroyer (Mark II), "Beautiful" Bob Remus, The Executioner, Matt Burns, Bob Slaughter and of course Sgt. Slaughter
  • Improbable Weapon User: When he started up as one of the most red-hot heels of his day, fans were told by the announcers that he was going into the ring wearing non-official combat boots for the match.
  • International Showdown by Proxy: He fought Kaientai over claims Japan had a better education system
  • Irony:
    • In his PPV debut, against Col. DeBeers at AWA SuperClash III, the guys who ran in to attack him were the Iron Sheik and Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie, who would later be his allies as the repackaged Col. Mustafa and General Adnan, respectively, as part of the Iraqi sympathizer gimmick.
    • The fact that his Tag Team was called "The Cobra Corps" and his Finishing Move Cobra Clutch, being himself a member of G.I. Joe, whose opposing force goes by the name Cobra.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: ...and for some reason, it was a crass mistake to punch him right in there!!!
  • Large Ham: Though he is very soft spoken when he isn't Sarging.
  • Legacy Character: In AWA as Super Destroyer Mark II, taking the mantle from a future arch-enemy.
  • Made of Iron: A wrestler since the early 70's to (occasionally) this day, most of the time being the receiving end of many of the worse beatings in world-wide prime-time TV.
    • We are talking about the wrestling career of a man Ric Flair levels here. A performer who has literally spilled blood and guts for every brand he worked for. Sold like a god, in-roped enough to open his own school and a world-wide known gimmick for the ages.
    • As a matter of fact, you can count on the fingers of one hand the wrestlers that have beaten the Large Sarge clean. That's because he can, and rest assured he will be, as face or heel as he needs.
  • Man Versus Machine: To lay it down in mere words will never make it any well deserved justice... this is something you need to witness by yourself .note .
  • Meaningful Name: His second ''G.I. Joe'' action figure came as driver of the Triple-T tank. The vehicle's name stands for "Tag Team Terminator."
  • Mentor Archetype: One day Slaughter was watching a videotape sent by a young wrestler and made quite a discovery. As he recalls:
    "He was a wrestler already, but stuck in a no man's land. I saw his tape and took it to Vince McMahon and said, 'I think this is someone you should look at.' He said to me, 'I believe in you, sign him up for a shot.' He had real short red hair. Tall guy, almost 6'9" and from Rochester, N.Y. I brought him in for a tryout and said, 'Welcome, find a locker, go to catering, we'll tape your match. It won't air but we'll see how you do against an opponent.' "
  • Military Rank Names: Reflects a military background quite nicely.
  • The Nicknamer: In a more family-friendly way, but one that would made R. Lee Ermey proud of, he used to call his opponents and fans alike in Terms of Endangerment like "Greaseball," "Slime," "Sleeze", "Puke" and more famously "Maggot."
  • No Indoor Voice: ...with a badass background to brag about.
  • Old Soldier: He was even billed from Parris Island, SC.
  • One-Man Army: A Knight Templar borderline case, as the face!!!
  • The Power of Rock: Odd enough, in 1985 and as means of self-promotion, Slaughter and some friends recorded an LP, produced through an independent record label called Cobra Records. The release of the album Sgt. Slaughter & Camouflage ROCKS AMERICA led Sarge to New York City to meet with a RCA producer who wanted to insert him into the existing lineup of Autograph (of "Turn Up The Radio" fame.). Despite assurances from the producer, Sarge declined.
    • Just listen to "Cobra Clutch". Man, the tune alone deserved its own saturday morning cartoon!
  • Power Stable:
  • Redemption Quest: Following SummerSlam '91, in which Slaughter and his team (Col. Mustafa and General Adnan) lost to Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, a storyline started having Slaughter reflecting on what his heel gimmick cost him and what it would take to regain trust of Americans. The path started in a series of vignettes where he recited the Pledge of Allegiance with fans and school students. His face status was re-established in full when he helped save one-time adversary Hacksaw Jim Duggan from a 2-on-1 attack by Mustafa and Adnan. note 
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Split from the AWA in mid-1990 during the disastrous Team Challenge Series, where he was the leader of Slaughter's Snipers, to go to WWE. Col. DeBeers took over his team, and it was renamed DeBeers' Diamondcutters.
  • Semper Fi: Sometimes is hard to tell the difference between the character and the man. While he never actually served in the military, he's one of the last wrestlers to attempt to maintain his own kayfabe outside of the ring, so one just can't deny this is his thing. That said, he frequently mixes and matches Marine Corps and Army terminology (the chevrons on his gear/hat are CLEARLY the Army version, for example.)
  • Tag Team:
    • "The Cobra Corps," which had a few different versions:
      • In NWA Mid-Atlantic, it was the name for the Power Trio of himself and "The Privates" (Don Kernodle and Pvt. Nelson [James Harrell aka Boris Zhukov]).
      • In WWE in the mid-1980s, it was first with Junkyard Dog and later with Pvt. Terry Daniels.
      • In the AWA, with Greg "Rambo" Gagne.
    • "The Triangle of Terror", with Col. Mustafa (The Iron Sheik) and Gen. Adnan.
  • War Is Glorious: Back in the day some main eventers were allowed to have their own "specialty" matches. André the Giant had his Battle Royal, Hulk Hogan his Handicap matches, well The Large Sarge mastered "Alley fight", "Boot-camp match" or "Brass Knuckles Title Match".
  • Whip of Dominance: He frequently carries a riding crop (when not a swagger stick) with him as a prop to denote his gimmick as an authoritative and strict Drill Sergeant Nasty and he'd often talk about his "whipping people into shape" training method involved quite literal whipping. It was also the accessory that most versions of his GI Joe action figure came with.